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World Trade Law: Contemporary Issues and Concerns - LAWS8989
 courtyard class

Faculty: Faculty of Law
School:  Faculty of Law
Course Outline: See below
Campus: Kensington Campus
Career: Postgraduate
Units of Credit: 6
EFTSL: 0.12500 (more info)
Indicative Contact Hours per Week: 2
Enrolment Requirements:
Academic Program must be either 9200, 9210, 5740, 9230, 9231 or 5231
Equivalent: JURD7689
Excluded: JURD7689
CSS Contribution Charge:Band 3 (more info)
Further Information: See Class Timetable


International trade is increasingly becoming more important to practitioners (as evidenced by the Australia - United States free trade agreement) and non-governmental organisations. This course provides students with an opportunity to study select issues of international trade law in much more detail than can be covered in the introductory international trade law course. Increasingly, issues of contemporary legal significance are being decided by the WTO negotiations or the dispute settlement body that not only have an affect on the international trading system, but also affect civil society more broadly. Examples include the contentious discussions on agricultural subsidies, the agreement providing subsidised medicines to developing countries, obligations of a member when it loses in a dispute settlement panel and the evolving role of the dispute settlement body in the WTO.

LLM Specialisation

Recommended Prior Knowledge

Successful completion of an undergraduate or postgraduate international trade law course or substantial practice in the area is required to undertake this course.

Course Objectives

  • Refine and sharpen understanding of the history and evolution of the WTO
  • Deepen knowledge and understanding of the WTO agreements, including trade in goods, services, trade and intellectual property protection
  • Understand and evaluate the dispute settlement system as a whole as well as individual disputes
  • Understand the interconnectedness between trade policy and other areas, such as environmental, health and safety concerns, and labour

Main Topics

  • The Nature of the rights, responsibilities and obligations of the WTO
  • Settlement: The DSU in operation and potential amendments
  • Bilateral trade agreements
  • Developing countries and the WTO
  • Trade in agriculture
  • Intellectual property
  • Trade remedies
  • Current issues


Class participation (Preparation and engagement in class) 20%
Research essay 5,000 - 6,000 words 80%

Course Texts

Refer to the Course Outline provided by the lecturer prior to the start of the relevant semester.


Refer to the Course Outline provided by the lecturer prior to the start of the relevant semester.


Refer to the Course Outline provided by the lecturer prior to the start of the relevant semester.

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© The University of New South Wales (CRICOS Provider No.: 00098G), 2004-2011. The information contained in this Handbook is indicative only. While every effort is made to keep this information up-to-date, the University reserves the right to discontinue or vary arrangements, programs and courses at any time without notice and at its discretion. While the University will try to avoid or minimise any inconvenience, changes may also be made to programs, courses and staff after enrolment. The University may also set limits on the number of students in a course.